Monday, August 02, 2010

The Last Dance

Can you believe it will be the last time to do certain activities in the garden?  Evergreens should have been trimmed before the end of July because they put out new growth that can be nipped with the first frost.  Frost, what does that mean?  The average first frost for Illinois is the third week of October.

I still have some boxwoods that I am going to take a chance and trim this week because if this weather keeps up we won't have frost until January!  Do not feed any evergreens or shrubs in August in zone 5 or colder - stimulating growth can cause dieback when it turns colder.

Some pretty things to look at as we talk about the end of summer annuals.  This is an unnamed coleus and feathery sweet potato vine.  I wish I had planted this in one of my containers but this was designed for my daughter-in-law for two carefree metal urns by the back door.  They have done great all summer.


My daughter-in-law's front planters are very large 24" cast iron on pedestals, so if your remember the spring plantings, there were lots of plants!

I will feed my roses for the last time within the first two weeks of August.  My Rainbow Knockouts usually bloom until early November.  I do trim all of my roses lightly just to neaten them up, never having a problem with late fall growth.

Annuals still need to be fed every two weeks with a high bloom formula until they succumb to the frost - impatiens, coleus, sweet potato vine, fuchsias and all types of begonias will be the first to go with zinnia, marigolds and dahlias to follow.  Petunias, allysum and geraniums are the last to give up the ghost as they can take some cool temperatures. 


This is Red Velvet Coleus and Yellow Saffron Suberbells and they have not succumbed to our constant heat this summer.


This is Gay's Delight Coleus and it will not hold up to a frost, but in the meantime a great color in the garden.
I will need to bring my tropicals in when the nights begin to drop into the 40's.  I can't believe I am actually saying that temperature.


The red grasses will take over for fall, petunias will hold up to a light frost, sweet potato and coleus will not take a frost, but we will insert some cabbages and decorative pumpkins.



We can make this work into the next season!

18 comments:

Jester said...

Your containers are so beautiful. My Aunt is very good at it to, I'm not! So I am always so envenious!

RainGardener said...

The porch looks gorgeous with all of the different plants on it. And your Red Velvet Coleus just pops! Good information too which I didn't know.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Jester, it took a long time for me to get comfortable doing containers. With some advice from experts to always put in more than you think you need to have a full container.

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks RainGardener,it is my daughter-in-law's garden but I do her containers so I do enjoy them as if they were mine.

Eileen

Karen said...

Your daughter-in-law is very lucky! I wish I had your talent for color coordination and plant companions! And to think summer is almost past....where did that time go? You gave me some great ideas of what I could be doing to improve my containers here, thank you!

Karen

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Hi Eileen. I so love that coleus in your first photo. Just gorgeous.I have never saw a sweet potato vine that color. It will look beautiful come fall with pumpkins or gourds amongst it.I hated to see August arrive. Summer is just going too fast. Have a wonderful week.

Becca's Dirt said...

Can't believe you are talking about the upcoming frost. Our temps are in the triple digits today. Anyway I hear ya - but your plants are still looking good girl. Love that last photo.

GardenJoy4Me said...

Eileen those container plantings are amazing ! .. I have your unnamed coleus in one of my planters .. could be "Henna" .. I have to drag the tags out some time and check it : )
I love swwet potato vine in lots of plantings .. and Euphorbia .. I love Diamond Frost but could not find that exact one this year !
I do the half cup of Epsomes Salt with my roses (I have fallen behind since I did my back in with the bench mission) but it does wonders for roses !
Yes .. chores before Autumn .. already : ) ahhhhh !!
Joy

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Karen, I did buy a couple at Costco this year, but the ones that are pre-planted seem to peter out quickly, especially the hanging baskets.

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Lona, the coleus has held up very well in this heat both in containers and in the ground.

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Becca, I know when we are scorching, you are even hotter. I have a friend in South Carolina and she is dripping all the time.

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Lona, the sweet potato vine is called Carolina Bronze, much more contained than the green one.

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Joy, I should have saved her tags but who knew it would be so great, just one plant. I did not do any euporbia, if you mean the small leaved green in with the coleus, that is a new sweet potato vine. Isn't it cute, wish I had put it in.

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Sorry, Joy, didn't read your comment well enough re the euphorbia. I did put some in the ground this year, Diamond Frost, but it did not do very woell in the heat.

Eileen

Zoey said...

Beautiful containers!

I can't believe how stunning your DIL's container is with just two plants -- coleus and feathery sweet potato vine.

I like how you plan for fall changes with your containers and am looking forward to seeing them after the first frost.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Zoey, I know it surprised me how full those two plants became.

Eileen

Edith Hope said...

Dear Eileen, What amazing containers and how kind to plant them up for your daughter-in-law. She must be absolutely delighted. They really give an exotic look which must, I am sure, go so very well with the heat!!

Apologies for my late arrival but I have been on my travels.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Edith, I do enjoy planning and as long as I went plant shopping with my daughter-in-law we both did the planting.

Eileen